Tag Archives: conservatorship

Amanda Bynes’ Comeback Could Begin With A Guardianship

Amanda Bynes came into the public eye as one of Nickelodeon’s sweethearts.  Now friends and colleagues are so worried about her recent  erratic behavior that they have been begging for police intervention. Her former publicist, Jonathan Jaxson, tweeted: “I just spoke to @AmandaBynes and she is soooo messed up on drugs and please @NY POLICE find her and help her! I don’t know her address!”

Amanda Bynes

Jenny McCarthy then tweeted, “Police are at @AmandaBynes house. I hope they get her help. Enough of this circus. She needs help.”

Just over a year ago, Amanda Bynes started down a path that many probably could not foresee. It started with being charged with driving under the influence last year after she hit a police car when she was talking on her cell phone. After that, she was charged with two more hit and run accidents, which were later dismissed. Since then, her behavior has seemed to get more bizarre and erratic by the month.

More recently, she tweeted to R&B/hip-hop artist Drake Read more...

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When Will Britney Spears Be Free Of Conservatorship?

The Britney Spears conservatorship saga has nearly reached its fifth year anniversary.  We all remember her shaved head, public meltdowns, and wild paparazzi photographs.  Her career, her relationship with her children, and even her life were all spinning dangerously out of control.

Compare that to her life now, five years later.  Thirty-one-year-old Britney looks a great deal different from twenty-six-year-old Britney.  She was just paid $15 million for one season’s work as a judge on the X Factor.  Was she the best judge around?  That’s debatable.  There were reports that Simon Cowell wouldn’t have her back for another season, but it was Britney’s decision to leave X-Factor.

Britney Spears conservatorship video

Either way, there’s no debate that Britney seemed … well, very normal.  She was mature, composed, even graceful at times. She mentored teenage singers.  She held herself together and gave constructive feedback.  Britney was reportedly re-energized by the experience and is ready to start releasing new music and touring again.

What thirty-one-year-old Britney doesn’t look like is someone who Read more...

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Legally Blonde Reese Witherspoon Goes To Court To Protect Father From Bigamy

One of Reese Witherspoon’s more famous roles was as the perky young attorney in Legally Blonde.  Late last week, she accompanied her parents to court in a much more somber setting.

Reese Witherspoon’s father, Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, was recently married.  At least, that’s what a newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee announced.  You can read the big announcement and see the happy couple’s wedding photo here.
While John doesn’t exactly look happy in the picture, the announcement reveals that they will reside together in Nashville, following the intimate ceremony that featured cowboy boots and yellow roses, based on their Texas heritage.  The festivities took place on January 14th, and the couple plans a celebration with friends and family for the summer.

Reese Witherspoon’s Father Sued For Bigamy

There’s just one problem.  Reese’s 70-year old father, John, was never divorced from Reese’s mother, Mary.  While they’ve been living apart for the last 16 years, they still are married.  Mary says she still loves her husband of 42 years, Read more...

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Britney Spears’ Conservatorship: Oops! … Britney Spears’ Conservator Did It Again

The once-troubled pop star sure has been in the news a lot lately.  Settling lawsuits, postponing her wedding, negotiating to be a judge on The X Factor, putting one of her mansions up for sale.  It makes you wonder … is Britney Spears making any decisions about her life, or does her father, as her Conservator, decide everything?

Several months ago, we wrote how her father, Jamie Spears, was using the conservatorship to insulate Britney from lawsuits, including one by a company called Brand Sense.  The company had sued Britney for breach of contract, after Team Britney cut Brand Sense out of profits from her perfume deal with Elizabeth Arden.  Because Britney had been declared mentally incompetent, which justified the conservatorship, her father and their attorneys were able to keep Britney from being questioned under oath in a deposition for the lawsuit.

Recently, they’ve settled the case and agreed to give Brand Sense a confidential amount of the profits.  The Daily Mail in Britain reported that the settlement   Read more...

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Whitney Houston’s Funeral Suggests Trouble Brewing For Her Estate

Whitney Houston’s funeral this weekend provided the first public glimpse of what may be trouble involving her estate.  Her ex-husband, Bobby Brown, was invited to the funeral, after reports surfaced that some family members didn’t want him there. He didn’t last long.  Brown’s entourage wasn’t allowed to sit with him at the funeral.  Brown wasn’t happy and left, visibly upset.

Bobby Brown issued a statement after the funeral, saying he and his group were asked to relocate three times, and rather than making a scene, he chose to pay his respects quickly and leave.

TMZ reported the day before Whitney Houston’s funeral that mother, Cissy Houston, and other family members had been trying to keep Brown away from Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s daughter with Brown.  They were said to be worried that Brown would try to use Bobbi Kristina to make a play for some of Whitney’s money.

Brown’s statement confirmed some of this.  He said that security prevented him from seeing his daughter at the funeral.  Is money the reason Read more...

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Etta James Estate: Others Remind of Need for Estate Planning in 2012

A few weeks into the new year, how many of your New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside?  Exercise more. Eat less.  Spend more quality time with family.

Well it’s not too late to tackle a very important resolution that up to two-thirds of adults in our country ignore — estate planning. That’s right, it’s the topic no one likes to think about, but everyone knows they should take care of … wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and more.

It doesn’t have to be intimidating! In fact, celebrity stories are a great way to break the ice to remind everyone of what they need to do.

So, with the help of some recent stories in the news, here are Trial & Heirs: New Years Estate Planning Resolutions for 2012.  (We just gave an interview discussing some of these stories, which you can watch here).

The Estate Of Etta James

1.  Plan Now and Don’t Procrastinate.

R&B legend Etta James was 72 when she passed away last week, Read more...

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L’Oreal Heiress, Liliane Bettencourt, Subject To Guardianship

The second richest woman in the world, Liliane Bettencourt, has been declared mentally unfit to manage her affairs by a Judge in France yesterday.  The decision grants control of her financial affairs to her only child, daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, and grandsons Jean-Victor and Nicolas.  Bettencourt-Meyers has been fighting for years to protect her 88-year old mother, who has been victim to financial exploitation to the tune of more than one billion dollars, according to an earlier lawsuit.

Bettencourt suffers from “mixed dementia” and “moderately severe” Alzheimer’s disease, according to a medical report relied on by the Judge in making her decision.  Her mental decline sparked a family court fight.  It began three years ago when Bettencourt-Meyers started a lawsuit to protect her mother from photographer Francois-Marie Banier, who she claimed had charmed the elder Bettencourt out of assets worth almost one billion euros (about 1.4 billion dollars).  She also named Banier as sole heir in a new will and as beneficiary to vast life insurance policies.

Bettencourt was so furious Read more...

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Ten Warning Signs of Financial Exploitation

The National Center on Elder Abuse defines Financial or Material Exploitation as:

The illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets.  Examples includes, but are not limited to, cashing an elderly person’s checks without authorization or permission; forging an older person’s signature; misusing or stealing an older person’s money or possessions; coercing or deceiving an older person into signing a document (e.g., contracts or will); and the improper use of conservatorship, guardianship, or power of attorney.

The Center lists the following warning signs and symptoms of exploitation and other forms of financial abuse:

  1. Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder;
  2. The inclusion of additional names on an elder’s bank signature card;
  3. Unauthorized withdrawal of the elder’s funds using the elder’s ATM card;
  4. Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents;
  5. Unexplained disappearance of fund or valuable possessions;
  6. Substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial
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Did Conservatorship Save Britney Spears Life?

As Britney Spears nears her 30th birthday in a few months, she is in the midst of a world tour, has a successful new album, and tells Glamour Magazine that she is happy and “in a really good place right now.”  There’s even talk of her regaining at least partial custody of her children.  Quite a turnaround from the public lows she hit just three years ago!  And who does she thank for it?  Her father, James Spears.

In fact, according to a friend of hers, Britney Spears credits her father for saving her life. How did he do it when she was so close to the edge — bald head and all — just a few short years ago?

James Spears has been Britney’s conservator since 2008.  This means he was appointed by a judge to make all of Britney’s legal decisions, financial and otherwise, since that time.

Most people who are familiar with conservators (or guardians, as they are called in many states) think of them as being Read more...

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Is 94-Year-Old Zsa Zsa Gabor Going To Be A New Mother?

Zsa Zsa Gabor has always been associated with glamour in Hollywood — queen of film and television over the course of a five-decade career, married nine times, and even able to parlay a famous slap of a police officer into a career revival.  In fact, she has recently been called “the first and probably biggest Hollywood celeb to become famous for being famous.” Aptly put.

But when does pursuing fame cross the line for a 94-year old? That point may have come this week, when her husband of 25 years told the media that he had started the process of donor matching and blood work so he could turn Zsa Zsa into Ma Ma.

That’s right, the esteemed Prince Frederic von Anhalt is planning to arrange for an egg donor, surrogate mother, and artificial insemination to allow Zsa Zsa to once again enjoy the wonder of motherhood.

Why in the world would he do this?  He said that he wants someone to be able to carry on the Gabor Read more...

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